Writing in The Evening Standard, Emily Maitlis talks about the Orwellian language used by President Trump's press secretary ("George Orwell’s Minitrue could not have put it better"). And she too calls the statements he defended "lies". She then makes the same point that James Cook and Nick Robinson made earlier:
But maybe the real question now is how those of us listening to the lies respond. So much centres around the question of “balance”. So weaponised, so overused. Thrown in our faces when we strive to say anything that reaches past a seesaw of “yes and no”.
Of course the natural instinct is to report the statement in its entirety — then reach to the other side for reaction. But that doesn’t work when you are the other side: something as amorphous as the media itself. Nor should it have to work, when a statement is so easily, demonstrably untrue. Our priority, uncomfortable as it sounds, is not one of balance but of fairness. We are not being fair to our readers or our viewers if we know something to be untrue and we simply fail to say it.